What If I am Partially Responsible for A Car Accident In Florida?
We all have had those moments when driving where we glance away from the road for a minute, find ourselves going several miles per hour over the speed limit, or fail to see another driver coming our way when turning into traffic. If you are fortunate enough to avoid getting into a car accident, these situations can serve as reminders of how important it is to be vigilant when on the road.
If you are not so fortunate, however, you could find yourself suffering serious and potentially disabling injuries and wondering how any property damages, medical costs, and lost wages will be covered. While the driver responsible for a car accident is generally liable for any injuries that occur, you may be entitled to compensation even if your own actions were partly to blame.
How Fault Is Determined In Car Accidents
As a no-fault insurance states, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) advises that all drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If you are involved in an accident your medical expenses are covered, at least up to the levels provided through your insurance policy, regardless of who is to blame.
Unfortunately, your coverage may not be enough if your injuries are severe, and PIP will not cover damage to your vehicle or any pain and suffering you experience. To recoup these kinds of losses, you need to file an insurance claim against the at fault driver, or seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. This would require you to prove the other driver’s actions were responsible for the accident. Fault is assigned in car accidents based on the following:
- Police reports taken at the accident scene;
- Statements from witnesses who may have seen the accident occur;
- Your own statements made to police and to insurance company representatives;
- Accident investigations, which may involve reconstructing the accident and collecting video tapes from nearby traffic lights.
Car Accident Compensation Even If You You Were Partly To Blame
Car accidents are generally complex events involving multiple factors, such as road, traffic, and weather conditions, as well as errors on the part of one or both driver. If you are in an accident in which you suspect you were partly to blame, you should contact our Florida car accident attorney right away, before making any statements or admitting liability.
Comparative liability refers to the negligence of one driver in causing an accident as compared to that of the other. Under Section 768.81 of the Florida Statutes, provided the other driver is more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you may still be entitled to compensation. For example:
- You suffer $100,000 worth of damages as a result of an accident;
- Your share of the blame is determined to be 20 percent;
- The other driver is determined to be 80 percent responsible;
- You would be entitled to 80 percent of your damages, or $80,000.
To find out how comparative negligence might apply to your case, call or contact the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely online today and request a free consultation in our Bradenton or St. Petersburg office.